Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Senator Daphne Jordan today announced that they have introduced the “Save Our New York State Restaurants Act,” comprehensive, bipartisan legislation that would create a one-week sales tax exemption for food and drinks sold at restaurants and taverns.
“Keeping our local businesses open and thriving is absolutely essential to the economic success of not only our communities, but also our entire state,” Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said. “This new measure will provide a much-needed boost for small businesses that are owned and operated by our neighbors and friends. Helping restaurant owners increase their revenue will help ease the burden they’re facing during these difficult times.”
"Due to the ongoing COVID outbreak and ensuing economic shutdown, restaurants and taverns across New York State are struggling to remain open, keep their workers employed, and continue serving their respective communities. These restaurants and taverns often have deep, strong roots in the local community, support countless charitable causes, and provide tens of thousands of jobs. Angelo and I have heard from countless small businesses that are literally on the brink of closure because of the pandemic. Our bipartisan 'Save Our NYS Restaurants Act' would establish a one-week sales tax exemption for food and drinks sold at restaurants and taverns and, in so doing, help these local establishments. We must continue standing with and supporting our local small businesses and provide them the tools they need not only to re-open, but to remain open, and do so safely and sensibly. Without question, New York State has a vested interest in keeping these small businesses in business. Our bipartisan legislation will bring attention and business to our restaurants for that week, and also bring in customers that may not have otherwise planned to eat out. This bipartisan bill is a smart step, but New York needs to do even more to help our restaurants and taverns, and the thousands of dedicated employees who work at them," Senator Daphne Jordan said.
The sales tax holiday established by the bill would apply to in-person dining and takeout and delivery, allowing the community to support these local establishments safely. Fast food chains would not be eligible for the exemption.
This legislation builds upon legislation that Assemblyman Santabarbara and Senator Jordan supported earlier this year to provide financial relief for small businesses, including measures that would create a credit that can be applied on the renewal of an establishment’s liquor license (Assembly Bill A.10563/Senate Bill S.8452), and allow businesses with on-premise alcohol licenses to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption (Assembly Bill A.10550/Senate Bill S.8392).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Assemblyman Santabarbara and Senator Jordan have worked to secure emergency resources for small businesses and nonprofits. They have also delivered masks, gloves, NYS hand-sanitizer, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to businesses and local organizations, allowing them to reopen safely and remain open. They will continue working side-by-side with other legislators and local businesses to ensure they have the necessary equipment and resources to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.